The Regolith Eaters by Brent Baldwin

The worms were supposed to save us. Eat regolith; die; create arable soil. That’s what the prospectus said.  

It’s not what I see outside the stuck rover, now. Jameson is slumped in his exosuit, prybar fallen. He could be napping, if not for the wriggling under his skin. Pinholes riddle his boots.

The rover is sealed. The contingency plan is active. A rescue team should arrive in twelve hours.

Jameson’s helmet cam focuses on movement. On the rover’s door. Worms inching toward the seals. 

My leg twitches. I check both legs, but find nothing. A psychosomatic stress response. 

For now.

Originally from the tree-swept hills of the Missouri Ozarks, Brent lives in London with his wife, two daughters, and domestic zoo. His work has previously appeared in Flash Fiction Online, Nature Magazine, and Analog among others.

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